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Video Game: MOTHER 3

"The more you think about it, the greater MOTHER 3 will become."

MOTHER 3 is a Japanese RPG note  starring an adolescent Heroic Mime Farm Boy from a Doomed Hometown and his dog, who join forces with a Lovable Rogue and a Tomboy Princess Black Magician Girl to fight a World-Conquering Evil Overlord and his Army of Brainwashed soldiers in a race to trigger the Seven Cosmic Keystones and Seal Away an Ultimate Evil which will bring about The End of the World as We Know It.

Wait—nevermind, this game deserves a better explanation.

MOTHER 3 is a game about humankind's corruption of the natural world, the alienating effects of modern life on communities and families, the ethical treatment of animals, the folly of living vicariously in one's past, brotherly love and rivalry, and familial love.

...Or really anything, really. But mostly that.

MOTHER 3 is the long awaited sequel to EarthBound and the third (and apparently final) entry in Shigesato Itoi's MOTHER franchise; it continues the tradition of weird and quirky writing and gameplay which features deft employment of Mood Whiplash in its artistic story. Like prior games, MOTHER 3 centers on a young boy with psychic powers and his friends — but in this game, the time and setting are vastly different, and the threat to humanity is much more earthly than it was long ago.

Unlike its two predecessors, MOTHER 3 shifts focus several times between the main protagonist, his family, and the people (and sometimes animals!) who will become his allies — and true to its slogan, its story is regarded as the darkest (and most emotional) of the three games while retaining all of the silly charm which endeared its fans to begin with.

MOTHER 3 is notable for having begun life as a Nintendo 64 game first — as part of the now-failed Nintendo 64DD add-on — before falling into Vaporware territory (its earliest development predated Duke Nukem Forever's, which didn't surpass its time in Development Hell until 2007). It resurfaced on the Game Boy Advance in 2006 — but Nintendo has yet to (and likely never will) release the game outside of Japan, despite vocal campaigns of support for an international release. (Lucas eventually saw international recognition due to his inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.)

Nintendo's refusal to release MOTHER 3 outside of Japan (as the GBA was all but dead in the U.S. and Europe) led to drastic measures — which, in this case, means an English-language Fan Translation which took years to complete. As it stands, said translation will likely be the only way to ever play the game in a language that is not Japanese. The translation can be found at its dedicated homepage.

Itoi has stated on a number of occasions that he doesn't want to make another MOTHER game — these days, he'd "rather be the player." Cue the fangame sequel...

This game provides examples of:

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  • Abandoned Laboratory: The Chimera Laboratory. It only gets mildly creepy at first... then the Ultimate Chimera gets loose...
  • Abusive Parents: Old Man Wess constantly berates Duster, calls him "moron" more often than his real name, and it's strongly implied he's the reason Duster walks with a limp.
    • When the party is hallucinating on Tanetane Island, Lucas gets a vision of his father threatening to beat him. Apparently, this is something he's deeply afraid of.
  • Absurdly Long Limousine: The game has a private limo that Porky uses to pick up Lucas and his gang to bring them to New Pork City. It's sized fairly appropriately on the outside, but on the inside...
  • Absolute Invulnerability: The Absolutely Safe Capsule.
  • Accidental Kiss: Mentioned in relation to a pair of recurring NPCs; they're a young couple who panics that they accidentally kissed during a blackout.
  • Action Commands: If you keep pressing A in time with the beat of the background music, you score extra hits. There's even a drum enemy which can change the beat to throw you off.
  • Addressing the Player
  • Adult Fear: Let's see here...
    • Losing your mother, violently, and right in front of your eyes.
    • Watching your father completely break down and hurt other people in a grief-driven rampage.
    • The whole idea of Claus, a nine-year old boy, running away and never being found.
    • While hallucinating, having everybody who loves and cares about you both physically hurting and viciously insulting you. Among them is your father, threatening to beat you.
    • Being forced against your will fight against somebody you dearly love.
    • Watching your children fight, one of them with the intent to kill.
    • And finally, a child committing suicide in front of his family.
  • Aerith and Bob: Lucas, Claus, Flint, Duster... Kumatora? Hinawa? Of course, these are all the characters' default names that you can change if you're so inclined, anyway.
  • After Action, Villain Analysis: Twice:
  • After the End: Though not apparent at first.
  • Age-Appropriate Angst: When Hinawa dies, everybody reacts differently. Lucas, her younger son, can't do anything but cry his little heart out at her grave. Claus, her older son, foolishly tries to avenge her, and fails. Her husband, Flint... breaks, then spends the next three years shut off from everybody else. Alec, her elderly father, seems to be the least affected, though it's implied he's just putting up a face for the sake of coping.
    • Three years later, Lucas, having gotten stronger and more mature over the course of the adventure, has to fight a brainwashed Claus and ultimately have him die in his arms. He still feels grief, but it's not crippling enough to prevent him from finishing his quest to save the world.
  • Age Cut: Used on Lucas in the beginning of Chapter 4.
  • All for Nothing: One interpretation to the ending.
  • All in a Row: Like the two games before it, but it's lampshaded early on by Thomas (a temporary party member):
    Thomas: "I'll follow behind you. What? What's so wrong with that? I happen to like following behind people!"
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Interestingly, at the beginning of the game, this trope literally doesn't exist in-universe. Everybody in Tazmily is friends with everybody else, and differences are respected and even embraced. After the Time Skip, however, this trope is in full affect against anybody in Tazmily not in ownership of a happy box.
  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": Some people who played Super Smash Bros. Brawl will get the unlucky treatment of reading into the spoilers if they wish.
  • Always Check Behind the Chair: At the very beginning, if you run into Hinawa's chair, she will give you a recovery item.
    • Also, there is a Magic Butterfly under the Pigmask's hat on Snowcap Mountain.
      • There's a box behind Wess' house that contains a Thunder Bomb. The best part is, it automatically refills whenever you go to the crossroads and back, even after the time skip.
  • Always Identical Twins: It's... actually kinda hard to say if Lucas and Claus are identical or not. Based on what we know, they do at least look similar enough to confuse the two of them, except they have completely different hair colors.
  • Ambiguous Ending
  • Ambiguous Gender: The Magypsies, amusingly. According to Alec, they have No Biological Sex.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Porky clearly seems to have some idea that what he's doing is wrong, but since he sees all of it as just one gigantic game he'll do anything to win, exactly how wrong he sees it is pretty debatable.
  • Ambiguous Time Period
  • Anachronism Stew: Totally justified once you realize it.
  • An Aesop: Several, some more subtle than others:
  • And I Must Scream: Porky's ultimate fate. He did it to himself, though, and Dr. Andonuts comments that maybe it's what he really wanted.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: You play through the prologue as young Lucas, then the next three chapters are played by three completely different characters before going through the rest of the game as Lucas again.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Hooooo boy...
  • Animated Armor: Duster and his gang come across these in Osohe Castle.
  • Anti-Poop Socking : Mostly done as reminder to save your game. If you play continuously without saving, Leder's bell will be heard and tell you to save and take a break. It takes quite a while to trigger however, and if you save often it is most likely you wouldn't ever get this message.
  • Apocalypse Wow: During the ending, though moving the following "The End?" message shows they somehow survived.
  • Anyone Can Die: Hinawa and Claus.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Tazmily Village's residents, excluding the protagonists.
  • Apologetic Attacker: One of Salsa's skills is to "apologize profusely" to the enemy. This is a nod to one of Pokey (Porky)'s totally useless actions when he's your party member in EarthBound.
    • Other enemies sometimes waste their turns apologizing, such as Pigmasks. Incidentally, this is one of the first huge instances of foreshadowing to the fact that Pokey (Porky) is the main villain, besides the whole "pig" motif.
  • Apple of Discord: After the time skip, the people of Tazmily become more selfish and greedy to each other ever since currency was first introduced.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: See Mook Chivalry below.
  • Arcadia: Tazmily Village.
  • Arc Number: The number 7. There are technically 7 characters that the player could control in battle in the whole gamenote . There are Duster's Almost 7 Thief tools, the 7 Magypsies, and The 7 Needles keeping the Dragon underneath the islands asleep.
  • Arc Words: It first appears on a gravestone in the Tazmily's Sunset Cemetary, but is later mimicked a notable number of times throughout the game.
    "I leave the rest to you now."
  • The Ark: The White Ship can be referencing this.
  • Armed Legs: Duster kicks to attack, using his crippled leg. It gives him the best phsyical attack in the party.
  • Armies Are Evil: One interpretation to what the Pigmask Army has done.
  • Arms Dealer: You meet some along the way.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The battles in the tents of Saturn Valley.
    "Pigmask Major attacked! Pigmask Major tried hitting Kumatora's joints! Frightbot (Beat)... told a story so scary you'll never go to the bathroom at night again"!
  • Ascended Extra: The Rope Snake.
  • Ascended Glitch: After you get the Franklin Badge from a stealthily dressed Mr. Saturn, he gets stuck in a wall. Itoi liked this glitch so much that he gave Saturn some dialogue.
  • Awful Truth: Leder's final role is to tell Lucas how his beloved home of Tazmily was always a fabrication; a fringe village on the edge of nothing, whose people had been willingly brainwashed to prevent a second armageddon. This is why the villagers act so cruelly when Lucas mourns for any length of time; they have a very strong reaction to "bad" feelings. Look at how they first tell Flint the bad news. And look at how Flint completely breaks down afterward.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: The Dark Dragon.
  • Awkwardly-Placed Bathtub: Inside the flying limousine.
  • Ax-Crazy: King Porky Minch.
  • Badass Adorable: Lucas is probably the last sweet little boy you'll want to get in a fight with.
  • Badass Beard/BadassMustache: Flint and Duster both have one of each.
  • Badass Grandpa: Wess, though not apparent at first.
  • Badass Normal: Duster's got no psychic powers to speak of, but he's got more than a few tricks up his sleeve.
  • Bald of Awesome: Flint. He's bald as a bean!
  • Bag of Sharing: Averted in all the MOTHER games, and this is no exception. Each member of your party has their own individual inventory space, while money is the only item being shared.
  • Banana Peel: Used comically whenever you run over and slip on one. Even if you're driving at the time.Fassad, on the other hand, gets his just desserts in the end of Chapter 5 with one.
  • Bee Bee Gun: The Honey Shower. It doesn't do too much damage, but it's still fun.
  • Beef Gate: Not the usual "you'd better be leveled up" variety; instead, it's there to make sure you eat the funky 'shrooms. Enforced further by the loss of everything in your inventory that isn't attached to you, thus preventing you from healing by an alternative method.
    • Don't visit the Sunshine Forest in Chapter 4 unless your first goal for the chapter is to get Grated Yammonsters to grate you.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Lucas.
  • Big Bad: King Porky Minch.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Lucas gets one at the end of Chapter 3, when he quits being a crybaby and becomes the main character. He rides onscreen on top of the baby Drago's mother to take out a squad of Pigmasks and a tank.
    • Then the D.C.M.C. show up during the Mecha-Porky fight to save the day, just like the Runaway Five in EarthBound.
    • A Clayman gets one of these after the Almost-Mecha Lion fight in the Chimera Laboratory.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The stretch limo. The NPC driving said limo actually lampshades this.
  • Blatant Lies: Thunder Tower is named by a sign to be the Tower of Love and Peace. It is definitely anything but.
  • Blinding Bangs: Porky's and Bateau's.
  • Blind Obedience: Everyone other than the protagonists and their allies.
  • Bluebird of Happiness/Instant Messenger Pigeon: The blue carrier pigeon in the beginning and ending credits of the game.
  • Body Horror: The Chimeras, as well as Fassad when he's reconstructed after falling off Thunder Tower.
    • Porky too, no doubt.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Either played straight or subverted, depending on how you see it.
  • Book Ends: The last shot of the credits is Hinawa releasing a blue pigeon, but the end screen plays with this even more by echoing the title screen, which would be the first thing the player saw.
    • One that's even more meta: One of the final areas of the Empire Porky Building has the music from the title screen of the first Mother game.
  • Boom Town/Egopolis: New Pork City. The entire populace of Tazmily moves there by the end of the game. Too bad it's all cardboard. Not to mention most to all attractions in the city are named after their founder and leader.
  • Bonus Boss: Lord Passion, Lil' Miss Marshmallow, and the Pig King statue. Strawberry Slime, the Ghost Knight, and Fish Roe Man as well, though they're more minibosses.
  • Boss Corridor: This is before the confrontation with Porky.
  • Boss Bonanza: Chapter 8 only featured one small dungeon, the New Pork City Sewers, the Empire Porky Building and its basement, and bosses sprinkled throughout. First off is Miracle Fassad in the sewers. After him, there's a Bonus Boss, the King Statue, that can be fought in New Pork City itself. After completing the games to see if Lucas is worthy enough to meet Porky, the Natural Killer Cyborg is fought. After a Call Back to the previous two games, the Porky Bots are fought. Porky then reveals himself and sends Lucas, his party, and Flint to the basement, where there's a short stretch of enemies leading up to the Final Boss: Porky Minch himself. After beating him, the Post Final Boss, the rematch with the Masked Man, is available.
  • Bouncers: Neckbeard and Skinhead won't let a kid and some dog-like kid get into Club Titiboo that easily.
  • Brainwashed: Everyone in Tazmily Village (expect for Leder) was willingly brainwashed to prevent another Armageddon. Not to also mention how Tazmily is brainwashed by the Pigmask Army and how the Pigmask Army was brainwashed as well.
    • Also Claus/the Masked Man.
  • Braggart Boss: The Mole Cricket and The Squeekz.
  • Bread and Circuses: Most people seem relatively pleased with the way society changes thanks to the Pigmasks. Several people express their concern for the fact that Lucas's family doesn't have a Happy Box.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In the attic of Club Titiboo in Chapter 4, Lucas finds three presents lined up in a row. From left to right, they contain "some nice stuff", "some rice stuff", and "some nice rice stuff."
  • Break the Cutie: Lucas.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Sparrows explain the gameplay mechanics in what they call "game speak," and early on in the game, a character addresses you directly, asking you to enter your name. There is also a character who is induced to be sick because you (the player) just won't let up on hitting A to advance the dialogue. And let's not forget that imagining "something called a B button" is how you learn to dash.
    • The player gets directly asked their name, and then told to forget that they were ever asked. You're asked again in a later chapter, having the asker being very nervous about breaking the Fourth Wall, and telling Lucas to be careful or he might inconvenience the player.
  • Brick Joke: Flint's traveling doorknob. Also Mike's "slightly unclean and not very tasty" cookies are mentioned again in Chapter 8. He even asks if you forgot about them.
  • British Accents/What the Hell Is That Accent?: In the attic of Club Titiboo in Chapter 4, you will visit two mice who have a distinct Cockney accent. Want a sample of their dialogue? Here you go, translate it yourself:
    Mouse: ''"Squeeeeak squeak."
    "(Weh've been waitin' a bloody long 'arry Lime all pat wiv yew aht on yeh toblerone.)"
    Mouse: "Squeak?"
    "(Eh? Izzatchew, Alfie? Wheh've ya been wivaht sennin' a dicky bird? Ya dihn't come by fo' New Yeah's or Crackah Night, so yeh Grandmum an' I 'ave been all jack. So, wotcheh? Yeh mus' be bleedin' 'ank Marvin, eh? 'Eah's summadat Nut Bread fo' yeh.)"
  • Broken Bridge: "There are ants under your feet. You might accidentally step on them, so please don't continue in that direction."
  • Brown Note: The extremely distorted house theme remake that plays when you enter the Dur-T Cafe.
  • Burger Fool: "Beauty and Tasty".
  • But Thou Must: It doesn't really matter what option you pick in any choice; all that'll happen is you'll get a slight change in the dialogue, and sometimes be forced to answer again.
    • An interesting variation occurs at the end of Chapter 4. If, somehow, you lose to O.J. in Stone-Sheet-Clippers, a man will come in and tell you to keep the noise down. O.J. won't remember his (winning) result, and you get to try again.
  • Butt Monkey: Duster just can't seem to catch a break, can he?
  • Cain and Abel: Claus and Lucas are this. Not that they want to.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Lucas and Flint primary use sticks as weapons. Lighter carries a 2x4 of wood everywhere (which you get to use as a weapon at one point).
  • Catchphrase: "Tonda Gossa!", D.C.M.C.'s trademark greeting.
  • Celebrity Endorsement: The commercials advertising the game consisted of a post-gameplay interview with Japanese singer and actress Kou Shibasaki.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: This game is this to the MOTHER series.
  • Cessation of Existence: What will happen to the entire world, and even the Dark Dragon itself, if the heartless Masked Man awakens it.
  • Cheerful Child: Claus, at first.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Leder. Also Hinawa, who indirectly saves Lucas and Kumatora in Chapter 7.
  • Chekhov's Gift: The Courage Badge Flint gives to Lucas (through Nippolyte) turns out to be the Franklin Badge.
  • Children Are Innocent: Some are, at least...
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Pretty much everybody in the main party. Hence why the work so well off one another.
  • Climax Boss: The third Chapter Boss, the Pork Tank. It comes during a fast paced escape from the Pigmasks as they start to take over and comes right before the return of Lucas and the time skip.
  • Close-Knit Community: Tazmily Village.
  • Composite Character: The Tree enemies, which look like the Woodohs form the first game and explode like the Oaks of the second.
  • The Conspiracy
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Deconstructed. Big time.
    • A more straight example would be Kumatora.
  • Continuity Nod: Both of the previous games in the series are repeatedly referenced, most notably on the boat ride in New Pork City. Also, of course, the fact that the theater in New Pork City plays a film consisting of the important moments from EarthBound. There are also three residents of Tazmily who look like Jeff, Paula, and Picky.
    • The Mischievous Mouse will sometimes waste its turn feeling homesick, which was a status effect exclusive to Ness.
    • In the Chimera Laboratory, you can find the book "Overcoming Shyness", and, of course, the hilarious magazine excerpt from the $7,500 hovel in Onett.
    • One of the Saturns in Saturn Valley sells Strawberry Tofu.
    • Porky's room in Thunder Tower has a few too. The Teddy Bears that were party members in EarthBound ("You almost feel like it could take your place for you"), and a jukebox that plays the shop and hotel themes from EarthBound.
    • And, on a sadder note:
    "Dad... I thought you said anything could come true, as long as we prayed from the bottom of our hearts?!"
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The Pigmasks resort to some... highly unorthodox means of coercion to make the Mr. Saturns say where the Needle is.
  • Coolest Club Ever: Club Titiboo.
  • Cool Shades: The Rock Lobster enemy has a pair that sorta resemble Kamina's shades.
  • Coordinated Clothes: Claus and Lucas, but with opposite coloration.
  • Cornered Rattlesnake: Miracle Fassad starts out just like New Fassad. Once you hit him enough, however, he shows that he's been holding back the entire game by revealing his incredibly powerful PSI skills.
  • The Corruptible: Everyone except the main protagonists, their families, Lighter, Fuel, Nippolyte, Reggie, the DCMC, and Leder.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Claus. It was forced, but it counts.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Pretty much everybody on the good side, really.
  • Cosy Catastrophe
  • Covert Pervert: Possibly Lucas. There are two incidents where he deliberately walks into a place where a girl (Or somebody who he thinks is a girl) is bathing/showering.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Quite possibly the most outstanding example of this trope, and definitely one of the most subtle.
  • Crapsack World: New Pork City, and the Nowhere Islands when you leave them. Highways, concrete, steel, and technology have dominated the island, practically all of the local animals have been changed into robots or hideous chimeras, Tazmily has been abandoned after it was formed into a modern suburban-style town, and the familiar townsfolk of Tazmily have become distant from each other. Some are now jerks to Lucas and his party when they once were kind to them. In New Pork City, Porky rules with an iron fist. Lights, noise, junk food, media propaganda, and other artificial distractions are the way of life, and nature does not exist outside of a polluted trash dump.
  • Creepy Gas Station Attendant: In the middle of the desert, in a parking lot next to the road, there is a clearly extremely dilapidated and run-down building with cracked windows and worn-out paint. Inside, it is quite possibly the nastiest, filthiest restaurant of all time. The floors are extremely covered with dirt and mold, there's somehow still a ceiling fan, the walls are heavily cracked, all of the chairs (along with the pool table) are busted. Even the jukebox has rotten anchovies inside it. There is one woman still "working" at this horrifically decaying "restaurant" (at least, standing behind the counter). There is also a built-in bathroom. "Don't run inside. You'll kick up the mold spores."
  • Critical Hit: The satisfying SMAAAASH!! attack.
  • Crosshair Aware: The Natural Killer Cyborg's End of the Century Beam sets a crosshair over each characters' life meter. They're just for intimidation, though.
  • Cue the Rain/Tempting Fate: In Chapter 1, Ed says the only thing that can make things stranger is if it were to start raining. Guess what happens.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Lucas's party vs the Pig King Statue. Due to the way the fight works, one side will end up curb stomping the other; either the statue with its incredibly powerful attacks of the party with either PK Flash or a New Year's Eve Bomb.
  • Curtain Call: The game has a character roll at the very end right before the production credits, just like EarthBound.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: On more than one occasion, Lucas and his friends will find a Needle before the Masked Man and the Pigmasks — only for them to show up seconds later and spend elaborate several-minute-long sequences landing and setting things up, which is more than enough time for Lucas to pull the damn Needle.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Almost allnote  of the "reconstructed" animals are made violent and murderous by their "enhancements". (Then again, so are the purely biological Chimera). In addition, this isn't an unexpected side effect. The corker? After the experiments, knowing full goddamn well what the effects would be, Porky ordered Dr. Andonuts to reconstruct a nearly-dead Claus, resulting in his transformation into a virtually soulless killing machine who Porky can use to pull the Needles.
  • Daddy's Girl: Hinawa seems to be close to her father, from what little we see.
  • Darker and Edgier: Considerably so compared to the first two games.
    • This game was originally going to be even DARKER than the final version. The Dummied Out "nightmare" backgrounds show that some of these elements were in the GBA game for a part of its development, too.
  • Dark Reprise: The best songs from the first two games, and light reprises later.
  • Days of Future Past: Justified since the past was brought to the Tazmily villagers.
  • Dead Character Walking: Literally, since the characters walk one after another, they are still able to walk around, but their sprite looks excessively tired. Also, you're prevented from running so long as any of your party members are downed, which, naturally, can be problematic if you're caught in the middle of a dungeon, surrounded by enemies and without a way of reviving them.
  • Death Seeker: Implied with Lucas, twice. First time is a little-known dialogue chain from "Mr. T" if you try to go down the train tunnel without first talking to Old Man Wess. It's very funny. The second is during Chapter 6, when he sees his mother's ghost walking through a sunflower field. While he tearfully chases after her, in an act desperation, he ends up pitching himself off a cliff. It's not funny at all.
  • Debut Queue
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Sadly enough, Hinawa is killed in the first few minutes of the game. While the game exemplifies that Hinawa is a great mother throughout the whole game, Flint, on the other hand, is seen as neglectful and distant towards Lucas after her death (that is, in the search of Lucas' brother, Claus). However, Flint makes it up during the final battle between Claus and Lucas.
  • Defiant Stone Throw: Wess speaks out about the horror of what happened to Tazmily Village in the town square, but gets silenced soon after in Chapter 3.
  • Deflector Shield: The Franklin Badge reflects all lighting-based PSI back from Lucas, which seems great until the last battle.
    • Also a pair of PSI abilities that reflects half of physical or PSI damage (depending on the ability) back at the opponent.
  • Depopulation Bomb: The Nowhere Islands is the last bastion for the survivors of the previous Armageddon.
  • Depraved Bisexual: It's speculation, but if the occupants of his "Fan Room" are anything to go by, possibly Porky.
  • Description Porn: Inverted with the Dur-T Cafe.
    "A very filthy pool table." "It's dirty, but it's a jukebox. It's a jukebox, but it's dirty. It's covered in cigarette stains and old ketchup. Moldy rotten withered old anchovies are stuck to the record, but it somehow managed to spin anyway." "Lots and lots of old chewed gum is stuck to the bottom of this table." "These chair cushions have huge springs sticking out of them." "Don't run inside. You'll kick up the mold spores." "An old piece of paper. The letters are so dirty and faded that they are unreadable."
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: This game is full of it if you know where to look.
    • During the forest fire, after you save Fuel from the burning house, both will be covered in soot. If you choose to take a dip in the hot springs, they will be cleaned off from the neck once they get out.
    • After going through the dark cave in Chapter 1 with Alec (shortly before you fight the Drago that killed Hinawa), you can climb up a ladder and startle two Pigmasks, who scramble down the cliff and retreat into their saucer... or you can avoid them entirely. If you do, a cutscene will play as you leave the area, showing the saucer taking off normally, unaware of your characters.
    • The flowers at Hinawa's grave change with every chapter.
    • The first time you meet Kumatora, she attacks you with PK Freeze. After she joins your party, the exact amount of PP used from the attack has been deducted (which can also be explained by the pendant she dropped also adding on the same amount of PP).
    • An amnesic Duster is nicknamed Lucky at a point in the game. If you named him Lucky, the nickname will be changed to Gorgeous.
      • Likewise, Kumatora goes undercover and briefly takes up the name Violet. If you named her Violet the name will be changed to Kumatora.
    • After someone joins your party, if you go and try to talk to Leder, they will have something to comment about the old beanpole.
    • In Chapter 2, if you talk to Pusher on you way back to the castle with Wess, he mentions plans on building an old folks home.
    • There's a newspaper in a nursing home that the player will likely never check more than once, but its contents change with each new chapter, sometimes more often.
    • Prior to Chapter 4, one of the gravestones in the cemetery says it's reserved. If you check it again after the 3 year skip, you�ll find that Scamp is buried there. Checking the scenery in his house will refer to Scamp in the past tense.
    • Talking to NPC's after adding someone new to the party will often give you new dialogue.
    • Early in Chapter 2, Wess tells you to check behind the house to find a Thunder Bomb. If you check behind the house in later chapters, even after the timeskip and Wess's house was torn down and a senior citizen's home was built where his house stood, you can still find Thunder Bombs. They re-appear every time you go to the crossroads and back.
      • When you return to Tazmily Village with Duster in the party after he's been gone for three years, several of the villagers will express surprise at his return.
    • The Anti-Poop Socking dialog changes slightly depending where in proxy you are to Tazmily Village or if you're playing after the time skip happened.
      • Pre-time skip, if you are in or close to Tazmily, the dialog appears as Ol' "Beanstalk" Leder's bell is ringing. If you're farther away, it appears as Ol' "Beanstalk" Leder's bell can be heard off in the distance.
      • After the time skip, Leder and the bell disappear from the village and the dialog comes up as You got the feeling that you heard ol' "Beanstalk" Leder's bell.
      • If you have a Fresh Egg in your inventory and go into a hot spring for a few minutes, step out and check your stuff: you will have a Boiled Egg. In fact, it's a good idea to do this a lot; they're a very good healing item and you can get them for free by the Chimera Labs. In addition, if you don't do this and leave a Fresh Egg in your inventory for too long, it'll hatch, and will lose its restorative properties.note 
    • Remember the locked rooms in the Toilet Dungeon? It is the one with water leaking outside. Using a walk through wall code when you are in a room next to it, you can enter and see the flooded room, entirely programmed!
    • If you need to heal by hot spring in Tanetane Island while in Mushroom Samba mode, Boney will opt out of it. When you meet the Magypsy of the island, Mixolydia, after healing there, he/she comments on how you stink. Rely only on Lifeup, Items, and the shrooms at the entrance to heal yourself without the hot spring, and he/she won't say this. Pass by that area outside the influence of the shrooms and you'll see why... that's a sludge pool, not a hot spring!
    • Poison will actually cause an occasional visual distortion while not in a battle, so being poisoned is more than a status. This distortion doesn't exist if you don't run, appears occasionally when you move at normal speed, and worsens as you dash.
    • When you start Chapter 2, chests that were already opened remain open and empty.
    • As you make your way to the graveyard in Chapter 2, you meet a guy in a turban with a monkey. After the encounter, if you visit the Yado Inn, the second room in the row of rooms (the one with the frog), will not be able to be entered.
    • When you enter the Osohe Castle (third floor, to be exact), the portrait that's there has moving eyes.
    • When the entire group dons Pigmask outfits, Duster still has a limp.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: After Claus comes back to his senses and regains his memories, he electrocutes himself. In his last moments, he embraces Lucas like a brother should, and is cradled by him until he dies.
  • Dirty Communists: According to right-wing extremists, this game has a pro-Communist, anti-Capitalist agenda. Itoi was never confronted about whether or not this was true.
  • Disability Superpower: Itoi deliberately left it up to interpretation, but it is inferrable that Duster's crippled leg makes him better at his thief arts.
  • Disappeared Dad: He's alive. He still lives in the same house. He's just... not really there.
  • Disc One Nuke: The Squawking Sticks outside the factory in Chapter 4 have a 5% chance of dropping a Good Stick. There'll be no better weapon available for Lucas for the next couple of chapters, so it may be worth your time to try and obtain it as soon as you can.
    • At the beginning of Chapter 5, you can backtrack to Osohe Castle and defeat Lord Passion; for doing so, you'll get the Mystical Shoes, which will last Duster all the way through Chapter 7, if not the rest of the game.
    • Black Beanlings give way too much experience upon defeat. If you can kill just one in Chapter 4, you'll skyrocket by like 10 levels, and steamroll everything.
  • Disney Villain Death: Jaw-droppingly averted. Fassad ironically slips on his own banana peel and falls off of the very top of Thunder Tower. Somehow, he is reconstructed into a horrifically ridiculous cyborg machine that "speaks" through trumpets jammed through its nose.
  • Distressed Dude: Duster, in Chapter 7. He wasn't in much danger, though, just bored beyond belief of "scary" stories.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The room in the Empire Porky Building dedicated to his 'biggest fans'. Just listen to that music...
  • The Dog Bites Back: Dr. Andonuts to Porky.
  • Doomed Hometown: Sort of. It's not destroyed, but corrupted, turned into a modern city, and eventually completely abandoned. And it ends up being destroyed in the ending.
  • Doting Grandparent: Alec.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: Near the end, you have to do a couple of minigames where this is the goal. The track that plays during the segment is even called Try Kind of Hard.
  • Downer Beginning: Did we mention already that Chapter 1 is called Night of the Funeral?
  • Downer Ending/Happy Ending/Bittersweet Ending: Your choice. This game has such a purposefully Gainax Ending that it could really go either way depending on how you look at it.
  • Dragons Up the Yin Yang: The two dragons in the sanctuary just outside of the Sunshine Forest. Oddly enough, they shape a Yin-Yang symbol.
  • Dramatic Timpani: The whole soundtrack has some form of a timpani, but the Big Bad's theme is more recognizable.
  • Dramatic Unmask: The Masked Man removed his mask. His face looked just like Lucas's. It was Claus.
  • Dramedy
  • The Dreaded: King Porky Minch, who else?
    • Lucas and co., to the Pigmasks, once they've gotten themselves a reputation.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Lucas and company go undercover as Pigmasks at least twice.
  • Drill Mole: Reconstructed Moles.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Her: Hinawa's death is treated like this.
  • Drop Ship: You can see these used by the Pigmasks.
    • Flying Saucer: You can see a shadow of one just as Hinawa releases the carrier pigeon of the prologue.
  • Drugs Are Bad: When you examine the alcoholic drinks in the flying Limousine at the start of Chapter 8.
  • Fan Translation Name Change: Yokuba to Fassad, "Yoshikoshi" to "Violet", "Tamekichi"/"Umemaro" to "Lucky"/"Gorgeous". Hinawa was almost changed to Amber to retain the Theme Naming with Flint, but was ultimately left as Hinawa.
  • Duel Boss: The final battle with the Masked Man, though it's quite tragically one-sided.
  • Dug Too Deep: Just before Lucas and the others reach the dark and incomprehensible final area, they have to trek though a mine deep underneath New Pork City.
  • Dummied Out: There are ungodly amounts of unused content in the game:
    • In terms of enemies, we have a giant bear, a tree monster, and the Alkaline Man, along with lots of unused entries that don't have any data to them.
    • There's also a ton of unused music!
    • There are lots of unused lines of text in the game. Notable examples include an exchange with the producer of something called Mr. Pirkle and Ms. Lardna's Love Nest", mentions of a New Pork Island, a conversation with the seventh Magypsy, Locria, and some end-game conversations with Kumatora and Duster (asking Lucas how having a mother felt like, and discovering all of their memories were fake.)
    • Unused sprites, unused (and sometimes very terrifying-looking) battle backgrounds, a picture of a gas station, and a giant pig balloon of some sort are just a fraction of the unused graphics in the game.
    • The most recent discovery? Unused cutscenes! Three of them seem to be flashbacks meant to play during the final battle (Lucas's childhood memories), while two of them appear to be from the ending (dealing with the ultimate fate of Salsa and Alec, who were the only ones left behind when everyone moved to New Pork City, surrounded with burnt animal corpses and falling meteorites.)
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: The Barrier Trio, once defeated, has a five turn long death animation where they charge, introduce PK Starstorm to the game, charge, try to use PK Starstorm but be too weak to, then strike one last Barrier Pose.
  • Dying Town/Ghost Town: At the end of Chapter 7. It's Tazmily Village.
  • Dynamic Character: Every RPG hero wants to get physically, mentally, or magically stronger. Lucas, on the other hand, wants to become stronger as a person. And so he does.
    • Interestingly enough, though the most dynamic character in the game, and probably the entire series, is Porky Minch himself.
  • Dysfunction Junction: More or less.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Fassad makes an appearance at the beginning of Chapter 2, and more obscurely, halfway through Chapter 1.note 
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: There are many ways to interpret the ending, but if you interpret it happily, definitely this.
  • Easily Conquered World: To Porky, this may be the case for Tazmily Village and even the Nowhere Islands after the time skip.
  • Easing Into the Adventure
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Everyone agrees, the bosses are probably the hardest part of the game.
  • The Eeyore: Negative Man.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: PK Love Omega for Lucas and PK Starstorm for Kumatora, both of which are learned at the end of Chapter 7. Also, chances are that, if you learn them at all, Lucas's Refresh and Kumatora's PK Ground won't be learned until near the very end unless you grind a lot.
  • The End... Or Is It?
  • "End of the World" Special: The entire journey of MOTHER 3, or late into the game in Chapter 7, is to see who will summon the Dark Dragon first, and how they'll use it to recreate the world. In the end, despite Lucas pulling the last needle, the world is still destroyed, but the ending implies everyone is still happy and it was for the better.
  • Enraged By Idiocy: Wess really can't stand it when Duster shows "incompetence" as a thief.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The Pigmasks spend their time turning animals into the chimeras that the players face...but as it turns out, they're completely horrified of the Ultimate Chimera.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs/Dinosaurs Are Dragons: The Dragos.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Salsa and Samba, as well as some enemy Chimeras.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Played straight and subverted with Princess Kumatora. The only reason she's a "princess" is because some people decided that everything's better with them.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Zombies pop up in Tazmily Village's Sunset Cemetery at night.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Let's not get started, it's in all of the MOTHER games.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: There is a segment in the game where Lucas, Kumatora, and Duster eat some unusual mushrooms while desperate for food. The mushrooms cause them to hallucinate that the monsters in the area are characters from their pasts. The party dog, Boney, is the only one not fooled, and whines and barks when hallucinations begin to talk to the characters, attempting to warn the rest of the party as to their true nature. He also refuses to get into a beautiful sauna the party can rest in - if you visit it again after the effects of the mushrooms have worn off, you'll find the humans were deliriously bathing in toxic sludge.
  • Evil Reactionary: All of New Pork City and King P's Playroom is this. Heck, you can argue that all of Tazmily Village is this as well after the time skip.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Two, actually: Thunder Tower (A.K.A. The Tower of Love and Peace) and the Empire Porky Building.
  • Evil Twin: Subverted. Cruelly, cruelly subverted.
  • Evil Will Fail: The Big Bad's untimely defeat supports this.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Deftly subverted. Throughout the entire game, we have no indication as to what the BigBad looks like, other than the fact that he's Porky from the previous game. Come the final chapter, and we're taken to New Pork City, and his face is absolutely everywhere. He still looks exactly the same as he always did, like a less-than-intelligent but still normal pre-teen kid. Then, you confront him, and this is actually the case; he hasn't changed a bit since the final battle with Ness Psych! Actually a Doombot! Turns out, Porky has changed appearance since his blonde bowlcutted days. Oh boy, has he changed...
    • Also subverted with The Masked Man, though much differently. And far crueler.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Though the actual turn isn't seen in-game, Fassad was once Locria, one of the seven Magypsies who betrayed them to work with the Pigmask Army. Later, it's revealed that Claus has one of these, although this was against his will. And then there's Dr. Andonuts from the previous game, though that was also against his will and he gets his revenge in the end.
    • Isaac becomes a Pigmask in Chapter 8. Although he doesn't do anything evil, he says he'd have to be your enemy if you did anything to oppose Porky.
  • Faceless Goons: The Pigmasks. Slightly deconstructed in Chapter Seven, when the injured Pigmask on Lydia's bed is seen without his mask after Lydia's Needle is pulled, and turns out to be a fairly nice regular guy who even volunteers to look after Lydia's rabbits, and urges that Lucas and his party get a move on. Also in Chapter 8, when a Pigmask in full uniform and face-concealing helmet, if spoken to, identifies himself as Isaac, having just recently joined the Pigmask Army.
  • Fairy Battle: The Walking Bushie.
  • Fake Band: D.C.M.C.
  • Fake Difficulty: Mildly. For almost every random battle music (and even some boss battle music) with regular beats (for the purpose of combos), there's a remix where the beginning sounds the same, but partway through the music there is sped up/slowed down/skipped in almost random places just to trip you up.
  • False Utopia: Tazmily Village is this.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Even though MOTHER 3 isn't really aimed at kids per say, but how Hinawa's and Claus' death was treated can be quite mature to a child audience.
  • Fan Disservice: The Magypsies live and breathe this trope.
  • Fanservice: In a Hot Spring, you can find Kumatora bathing nude. Psych! It was actually the back of Ionia's head. Later you find her taking a shower, but hilariously enough she opens the bathroom door fully clothed the instant Lucas gets close.
  • Fantastic Rank System/Custom Uniform: The Pigmask Army has a small ranking system that you meet throughout the whole game:
    • Aquatic Mook: The Navy SQUEAL's surround the underwater area of Cerulean Beach.
    • Mooks: Regular ol' Pigmasks in pink uniforms.
    • Elite Mooks: Both the Pigmask Captain and Pigmask Major can qualify as this. The Captain shines a blue uniform while the Major enrobes in a green uniform.
    • Mook Lieutenant: The Pigmask Colonel who dons a cape in a white uniform.
    • King Mook: The Pork Trooper, also called the "Scary Womanizing Pigmask", has his uniform that would be classified as a Heavily Armored Mook.
  • Fan Translation: These awesome guys! The online readme, about halfway down the page, starts a very, very long list of every hack that had to made in order to make the translation work. Buried in there is this gem:
    The game only had enough memory for 40 letters of battle text on the screen at once. Fixing this was assumed impossible, but a fix was figured out anyway, allowing for infinite text per line.
  • Farm Boy: Lucas, his father being a shepherd.
  • Final Boss: Porky Minch. See also Post Final Boss below.
  • Final First Hug: Claus, fatally wounded by his own lightning, stumbles towards Lucas and hugs him for the last time.
  • First Episode Spoiler: Hinawa's death, which signals the first big turn in the plot, as well as the first big Mood Whiplash.
  • First Law of Tragicomedies: MOTHER 3 takes a drastic turn for drama during the final hours of the game, where nearly all silliness is dropped. It can also be argued that this happens in the first Chapter as well. Other than that, the game is fairly silly and comedic.
  • Fission Mailed: Let's just say that The End is not the end.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Flashback Stares: Happens to Lucas at certain times.
  • Flower Motifs: Sunflowers.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: "Lil' Miss Marshmallow."
  • Flying Car: The limo in the beginning of Chapter 8.
  • Foreshadowing: Tons of it, if you know where to look.
  • Forced Level Grinding: The Barrier Trio and the Masked Man can easily be That One Boss for any player... unless you learn PSI Shield Omega (for the former) and Lifeup Omega and PK Ground (for the latter), after which their difficulty is immediately slashed.
    • If you don't grind on Dung Beetles at the beginning of Chapter Three, Salsa will get decimated later on.
  • Forgiveness: What makes Claus's final words even more tragic. All he asks for is for his brother to forgive his wrongdoings.
  • Funny Afro: Lucky from the DCMC,. He's actually Duster wearing a wig.
  • Gaia's Lament: Due to war and pollution, nature died and civilization collapsed. A large group of survivors then constructed a ship to the last part of the world that had not been corrupted, the Nowhere Islands, and brainwashed themselves to not know what modern technology was so they could preserve nature and themselves, starting Tazmily Village. When the Pigmasks took full charge, though, their efforts were ruined, and the islands were twisted into a mess of machinery and modern infrastructure. Either way, Lucas changes it in the ending when he pulls the last Needle... Maybe.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: What can be inferred as to what happened in the first apocalypse before the Nowhere Islands were found.
  • Gainax Ending: SO MUCH.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Chapter 5, Thunder Tower. There is a save frog who is susceptible to trap you in the scenery, rendering the save file useless. Thankfully averted with a Walk Through Walls cheat code (0200C492:FFFF, you're welcome).
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The Pigmasks. Despite their helmets, they are susceptible to crying, which is only caused from light flashes or eye contamination.
  • Genericist Government: We really don't know what kind of system the Pigmask Army governs. Capitalism? Dictatorship? Fascism? Totalitarianism? Is there even a government established? We may never know for sure.
  • Genre Deconstruction: It's MOTHER. It deconstructs the Japanese RPG genre; no surprise there. However, this game goes even further than its predecessors. Look no further than how the concept of currency is introduced for a singular example.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Several bosses.
  • Good Morning, Crono
  • Good News, Bad News: The first big Mood Whiplash of the game.
  • Good Is Old-Fashioned: Lucas and his family, post Time Skip.
  • Good Parents: Hinawa, absolutely. Flint, on the other hand, may or may not be classified as one. This could depend on his actions throughout the whole game to the player.
    • From what little we saw, we can easily assume Flint was a very good father. His grief from losing his wife and oldest son just left him... well, broken.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: PG-Rated example. Many adult occupants of Tazmily village are married, happy to be so, remain faithful, and have children. Porky, on the other hand, has his "Fans" to keep him company.
  • Gossipy Hens: The three women that can be found in the town center.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Getting all of the enemies' front and back sprites.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Rope Snake is a living example. He has a weight limit, and ends up losing his grip several times through the story.
  • Grand Finale: And how! It's no coincidence that the credits song, "16 Melodies", is a medley of the three main themes of the MOTHER series (Eight Melodies, Smiles and Tears, and Love Theme).
  • Gratuitous English: "Welcome to MOTHER 3 world" in the original Japanese.
  • Grave Humor: The Sunset Cemetery provides a lot of groaners if you check the headstones.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Wess. He often takes it out on his son.
  • Guest Star Party Member: During the first three chapters, there are various "guest" party members that can (sometimes) help out in battle. Most of them aren't very useful, but Wess certainly fits this trope, and Fassad in Chapter 3 is far more powerful than the main character at that point (which isn't saying a lot, so he's essential to have in battle).
  • Guide Dang It: Done to great effect with the Magypsy mementos. The game gives no indication that they will automatically revive you if you die, and realizing it by yourself can be a Tear Jerker and/or a Heartwarming Moment.
    • There's also no indication anywhere in the game that revisiting Osohe Castle in Chapter 5, to fight a Bonus Boss, will yield any kind of reward.
    • Completing the Battle Memory involves fighting the Zombieshroom before eating the mushrooms, even though you'll be guaranteed a Game Over. Fighting him after eating the mushrooms doesn't count. Interestingly, the Zombieshroom becomes skippable after eating the mushrooms...but if you want the Eerie Smile entry, only one particular enemy will give you it. Of course, it's the Zombieshroom. And then the Zombieshroom disappears after you're cured from the mushrooms, so you can't skip it and come back when you actually stand a chance and aren't on a massive drug trip.

  • Handicapped Badass: Duster has a permanent bad limp, but he can still handle himself in a fight extremely well.
  • Happily Adopted: Kumatora lost both her parents as a baby, so the Magypsies took her in.
  • Happily Married: Flint and Hinawa, definitely. Which is impressive, since we only see them interact face-to-face once, and that was in a flashback. Sadly...
    • Pretty much every single couple in Tazmily seems to be this, in fact, if you analyze the dialogue closely.
  • Harmful to Minors: The Game.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Lucas is a rare male variant.
    • Blondes are Evil: Interestingly enough, both the hero and villain of this game are blonde. Or, at least were, anyway.
  • Haunted Castle: Osohe Castle.
  • Healing Spring: In the form of hot springs throughout the whole game.
    • MOTHER 3 also goes as far as including a hot spring in a present box, being the second-to-last spring in the entire game.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Master Eddy, and the Almost-Mecha Lion. Defeating the latter is extremely difficult, considering you've only got two party members. If you do, all that happens is it gets back up in the cutscene afterwards. You do get a nice pile of experience, though, so it's not totally pointless to try to win.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: Lucas, though his father is technically still alive, does by all intents and purposes fulfill this role. He still does things to earn his likability, though.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Duster.
  • Heel Realization: One of the Pigmasks in Thunder Tower apparently had one of these when visiting Tazmily a day or so prior to speaking to him, having seen how charred the place was from all the Thunder Tower attacks.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits
  • Hello, Insert Name Here
  • Helpful Mook: The Walking Bushie constantly heals you until either you're fully healed or you K.O. it.
  • Heroic BSOD: Flint, twice. First when he finds out his wife has been killed (Which lasts three years before he breaks out of it), and second when he finds out the identity of the Masked Man.
  • Heroic Mime: Played with even more than in EarthBound: the role of protagonist is shuffled around between characters before the Time Skip, and whoever holds it at the moment is silent, but these characters are perfectly talkative when someone else is in the lead. (The exception is Salsa, who never talks at all. Granted, he's a monkey).
    • One scene, at the start of Duster's chapter, is a repeat of the same scene in Flint's chapter, except Flint talks at the end, symbolizing the role of Player Character moving to Duster, who doesn't talk for the rest of the chapter.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Bronson speculates that Hinawa risked her life to protect Lucas and Claus from the Mecha-Drago. Also, during the last battle, Flint jumps out to protect Lucas from a PK Love Ω.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Everybody in the main party. It seems all they've got is each other, and the occasional friendly animal.
  • Hidden Depths: Who knew Duster was so good on the bass?
    • Kumatora, of all people, has a soft spot for the magypsies, though we don't know why for a while. As it turns out, they were her adoptive parents.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Saturn Valley. Zoom!
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Sort of. The villain turns out to be Pokey (Porky) from EarthBound.
  • HP to One: The New Year's Eve Bomb (which is one of two ways to defeat a certain Bonus Boss note ) has this effect.
  • Human Aliens: The Magypsies.
  • Humans Are Bastards: In interviews, scriptwriter Shigesato Itoi has said that Porky Minch is a representation of mankind. Ouch.
    • Humans Are Flawed: However, the game does feature Hinawa and Lucas (who are both human), who are nowhere near the bastards Porky and Fassad (who is a Magypsy) are. Even in the case of Tazmily being influenced by the Pigmasks, it's arguable that it's just as much that several of them are ignorant from years of living in a controlled environment After the End as it is that they are inherently morally questionable by virtue of being human.
    • Despite this lingering fact, there still seems to be a Rousseau Was Right theme in there, just like all of the MOTHER games.
  • Hurting Hero: That'd be grossly understating it...
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Once Miracle Fassad is backed into a corner, he reveals he's a PSI user.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Lucas is blonde, Claus is a redhead.
  • Idle Animation
  • Ignorance Is Bliss: This may be the reason as to why the Tazmily villagers wiped out their memories before settling on the Nowhere Islands. This comes back to bite them later on.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: The final battle. Did we mention "Tear Jerker" yet?
  • Impersonating the Evil Twin: Not on purpose, though.
  • I Miss Mom
  • Improbable Weapon User: Yo-yos, lumber, banana peels — Duster uses giant staples, a loud insect, a feather, and other "thief tools" to supplement kicking with a crippled leg.
    • Since Boney only gets one relatively weak weapon at the very end of the game, one could argue that his collars are his weapons, since some of them increase offense.
    • Duster's weapons are shoes and he attacks by kicking. His disability is a club foot, yet he is not hindered by his crippled leg because that is how god-tier Badass he is.
  • Info Dump: Leder's final purpose.
  • Informed Equipment: Somewhat justified, as most of the armor and equipment you'll find are badges, charms, rings, bracelets, and other kinds of accessories which would be too small to be visible on the over-world sprites. Played straight with the much less common shirt and hat accessories.
  • In Harmony with Nature: Tazmily Village.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Indirectly made by Porky. He brainwashes the people of Tazmily to love and obediently follow him while his single motivation is to slay all the people that do not "genuinely" like him. See I Just Want to Be Loved.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: It's more of a parody than anything when you come across this when trying to leave Argilla Pass in the prologue. This is just one example of the quirky humor in this game.
    "There are ants at your feet. You might accidentally step on them, so please don't continue in that direction."
  • Interface Spoiler: Anyone who's played through MOTHER 3 can tell you that Hinawa dies about halfway through Chapter 1. It's called "Night of the Funeral" for a reason, you know.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Lucas forges this with Kumatora and Duster. (Especially Duster, who might be in his thirties).
    • This could be said of most of the people early on in the game due to the tight knit community that they had.
  • In The Style Of: Oddly enough, this game is sort of One Hundred Years of Solitude, 1984, and Animal Farm.
  • In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves: One possible moral to the story of this game. It may explain why what happened happened before the game and what became of after the game.
    • Porky mentions this in the first confrontation about the Tazmily villagers.
    Porky: "No matter how much you change the rules, no matter how much you refuse to admit defeat, in the end, the creatures known as "people" will always sign their own death warrant by acting out of stupidity and evil."
  • Ironic Nickname/Peace & Love Incorporated: Tower of Peace and Love: STAY AWAY!
  • It Amused Me: Ultimately, Porky's motive was that he was bored.
    • Also the ghosts in Osohe Castle. Not very scary at first, the former residence of Osohe Castle. But then when you talk to Leder, you realize that they are the ghosts of the people that once lived on the island but seemed to have died out long before the white ship appeared. They could possibly the ancestors of the Magypsies as well.
  • It's All About Me: Porky. Minch.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here/The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Empire Porky Building. Then you fall down a shaft/elevator for what seems like forever and descend a long staircase to get to Porky, The Masked Man, and the final Needle.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: How Porky refers to the Masked Man, the commander of his army. Who turns out to be Claus, completely stripped of his memories and emotions.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Porky, though it's more along the lines of "I Will Not Let Anybody Not Be My Friend Or Else".
    • Played straighter, though, in his relationship with Ness.
  • Jail Bake: Flint is locked up in prison at one point, so his son Claus sneaks him a nail file disguised in... an apple.
  • Jerkass: Fassad. Additionally, quite a few people from Tazmily become rude to Lucas and his friends as the town becomes more and more modernized and corrupted.
    • And, of course, Porky.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Downplayed with Kumatora. She's not a jerk, per say, just brash, short-tempered, and a bit of a potty mouth. Regardless, she's still got her heart in the right place.
    • Old Man Wess is more of a straight example. He does care about his son, he just really sucks at showing it.
  • Just a Machine: Porky believes that the Masked Man is nothing more than his robot slave and has no humanity left in him.
  • Karmic Twist Ending: Can be seen as this.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Subverted with Porky. He may be physically hundreds or thousands of years old, but he still has the mind of a thirteen-year-old. Had it not been for that, he would probably be one of the greatest examples of this trope.
  • Kid Hero: But of course.
  • The Lad-ette: Kumatora has this sort of personality and attitude, though she does not exhibit any of the behavior commonly associated with it other than swearing.
  • Lady Swears-a-Lot: Although what profanity there is in the fan translation isn't very strong, most of it comes courtesy of Kumatora. Lighter qualifies too to some extent.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Happens to Duster post-Time Skip.
    • The Egg of Light is an artifact capable of inducing and reversing this. Incidentally, it's how Duster's aforementioned amnesia is cured.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: Super Smash Bros. Brawl contains many spoilers for the game, including no less than five major plot points.
  • LEGO Genetics: Chimeras are given this treatment.
  • Leitmotif/Recurring Riff: Many, but most notably the militaristic-yet-juvenile Pigmask Anthem and the poignant Love Theme.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The Men's Room Sign tried PK Starstorm!
  • Let's Meet the Meat: In the Good People Spa, you can find a cow in a tube. He says he will make a wonderful steak for Master Porky.
  • Let's Play: There are a couple of entertaining ones.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: Not done intentionally, but forces conspire to separate Lucas and Boney from Duster and Kumatora in Chapter 7. They find Kumatora safe with a Magypsy, and Duster ends up with the Mr. Saturns. Which would be fine and dandy if they weren't being attacked by the Pigmasks.
    • This also happens on a small scale when the group need to search for a jar of pickles. They go their separate ways in the immediate area, rather than sticking to the usual All in a Row setup.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Lucas realizes PK Flash after being struck by a random bolt of lightning inside Thunder Tower. And Kumatora learns PK Starstorm after Ionia strikes her with Lightning using PSI.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: The Deluxe Box, which contains the game, a special edition red Game Boy Micro, and a replica of the Franklin Badge. Naturally, these go for ridiculous prices on auction websites.
  • Limited Wardrobe
  • Live Item: If you carry a Fresh Egg with you for too long, it will hatch into a Chick and grow to a Chicken. You can sell the Chicken for a good sum, making them good Vendor Trash.
  • Look What I Can Do Now
  • Lost Forever: If you don't go all the way back to Tazmily and fight Lord Passion during Chapter Five, say goodbye to Duster's Disc One Nuke weapon forever.
  • Lost in Translation: The fan translation, though quite thorough and professional, loses two Punny Names that don't translate well into English; Salsa ("saru", Japanese for monkey, and "salsa") and the Oh-So-Snake ("Osohe" and "hebi", meaning snake).
  • The Lost Lenore: After Hinawa is tragically killed, Flint... doesn't exactly recover. Maybe he'd have taken it better, if not for the fact that his son went missing less than a day later.
  • The Lost Woods: The Sunshine Forest.
  • Lovable Coward: Lucas, pre-Character Development.
  • Low Culture, High Tech
  • MacGuffin: The Seven Needles.
    • Egg MacGuffin: The Egg of Light.
    • To a rather lesser extent, there's also the Courage Badge. It turns out to be the Franklin Badge. And if you take the appearances of the Franklin Badge in previous games to heart, this could be a series-wide Chekhov's Gun.
  • Machiavelli Was Wrong
  • Madden Into Misanthropy: Porky.
  • Magic Is Rare Health Is Cheap: Magic Tarts and Puddings are rare as they ever were, but thankfully, this only really effects Lucas and Kumatora. Boney is an Item Caddy, and Duster (as well as Guest Star Party Members Flint and Salsa) can use skills infinitely with no restrictions. Early game, you can even get lots of HP restoring items for free, since the citizens of Tazmily don't know what money is yet.
  • Mama Bear: The scene at the end of Chapter 3 when the baby Drago calls his momma to flatten Fassad and his men.
    • It's implied that Hinawa actually stood up to a fire-breathing robotically-enhanced tyrannosaurus rex-like creature in order to save her sons, and sacrificed herself in the process.
    • And even when she's gone, she still works from beyond the grave to help them, saving Lucas's life twice.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Porky is the one controlling the Masked Man/Claus.
  • Manly Tears: Flint, when he's informed of his wife's demise.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Kumatora is easily the most masculine character in the main party, despite being the only girl.
  • Mature Animal Story: Kinda. Most of the main characters are all human beings, but one portion of it is seen from the perspective of a sentient monkey, and one of the main party members is a "talking" dog. That, and animal life in general plays a very significant role in the story.
  • Meaningful Funeral: Hinawa's funeral.
  • Metal Slime/Disc One Nuke: Beanlings, Black Beanlings, Soot Dumplings, Bright Smiles, Top Dogfishes and more... and it's perhaps the only game to subvert it with the Mystery Metal Monkey, which gives you good experience when you beat it... just not in the Character Level sense.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: Porky, big time.
  • Missing Mom
  • Misplaced Retribution: Fassad blames Lucas and co. for his fall off Thunder Tower, even though it was caused by his own carelessness. For bonus points, his battle theme is called "Misplaced/Unfounded Revenge".
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Chimeras that weren't combined with machines (or otherwise made into cyborgs of some kind), which include such wonders as the Batangutan, Horsantula, and Kangashark.
  • Mock Guffin: The Noble Spittoon.
    • Ironically, this also ends up the case for the Egg of Light that Duster was supposed to find instead of the Noble Spitoon. It's meant as something to both induce and reverse Laser-Guided Amnesia, but short of curing Duster's (which happened over the course of the game), everything has already gone past the point where the Egg's memories of the world before the Nowhere Islands would've been helpful.
  • Momma's Boy: Per the course of the series, both Lucas and Claus adore their mother to pieces, and the feeling is mutual. Sadly...
  • Moment of Silence: During Chapter 6.
  • Monster Compendium
  • Mood Whiplash: Done well.
  • Mook Bouncer: During Chapter 2, there are enchanted brooms that will sweep up Duster and his party and send them back a few floors.
  • Mook Chivalry: Near the end, you fight ten Mecha-Porkies, but only three of them are onscreen at any one time, in part due to the game engine's limitations. This is also done a couple other times, such as the fight against the four zombies. If you get enough enemies in the same spot, you'll only fight three at a time as well (this is easiest in the room in Thunder Tower with the five or six Whatevers).
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The Ultimate Chimera. To the point where it's basically a giant scowling maw with legs.
  • Mouth Flaps
  • Mr. Exposition: This is Leder's entire purpose. He was the only one not mindwiped on the "White Ship", in case of a crisis.
  • Mushroom Samba: Mixed in with some horror. After washing ashore on an island, your starving party is forced to eat some mushrooms. This results in a very bad trip. On the way to sobriety, you can look inside some mailboxes, which are not really there, and find things like "expanding darkness", "an image of yourself, crying", a rotten plate of your most cherished meal made by your mother, and you see images of your friends and family who insult and threaten you. Designer and MOTHER series mastermind Shigesato Itoi described this as his worst fear, and had to tone down the original script for this area because he was scared to read it.
  • Musical Gameplay
  • Musical Pastiche: The music when fighting the bat enemies in the first chapter starts with something that sounds very like the "Nananananananana Batman" theme.
  • Musical Spoiler: The Masked Man's attacks in Chapter 7 use the same "attack riff" as Claus's attacks from the prologue. There are many things foreshadowing that particular revelation, but only that one counts as a Musical Spoiler. Another one that's a bit less obscure is when Fassad returns with his new "horns" and they're squeaking out the sax part of the Magypsy theme.
    • Similarly, if there's any doubt that Lucky, DCMC's bassist is actually Duster, you may recall that his attack riff is a bassline.

  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Fassad, the Ultimate Chimera, and Porky. Last but not least, the Dur-T Cafe.
  • Narm: In-universe example.
    "The Frightbot told a story so scary you couldn't help but laugh."
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Take a guess.
  • Near Villain Victory
  • Never Accepted in His Hometown: The main party.
  • Never Found the Body: Claus. Presumably, this is why Flint is so adamant about continuing to search for him, even after three years.
  • New Game+: A bug allows you to do this.
  • New Media Are Evil: One interpretation.
  • New Neo City / Punny Name: New Pork City.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: You have to leave the Osohe Castle gate open when you leave it. This allows the Pigmask Army to go right on in.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The fight against Porky would be a hopeless fight if he didn't decide to switch on the Absolutely Safe Capsule.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Zombies come out early in Chapter 2 in the graveyard north of Tazmily Village.
  • Ninja Maid: Lil' Miss Marshmallow, the robot maid who works for "King P", will get very, very angry indeed if you try to take her master's precious "Friend's Yoyo".
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: One of the few works to deconstruct this trope. One of the music tracks is called "Tragic Reconstruction" for a reason.
  • No Biological Sex: The Magypsies. They are immortal, after all.
  • Nobody Poops: Like in EarthBound, averted, and how! Toilets (and people using them) are everywhere. There's even a dungeon made of them in the Empire Porky Building, and you can find many Pigmasks doing their "business" there. Beware the PK Starstorm-using Men's Room Signs, though!
    • One small cutscene features Pigmasks having a conversation that revolves entirely around what to use the hooks in the bathroom for.
    • Not only the Pigmasks use the bathrooms, but the Ultimate Chimera does too. All those Pigmasks it ate have to come out sometime. He doesn't take it kindly if you disturb him on loo. The worst part is that you need to piss him off if you want to get the treasure chest inside the Ultimate Chimera's bathroom stall.
  • No Ending: No matter what way you look at it, in terms of literary devices,MOTHER 3 seems to be lacking a resolution. However, Itoi would rather let the player imagine the ending instead.
  • No Immortal Inertia: The protective vines around Chupichupoyoi Temple.
  • Nominal Importance: Averted. Minor characters are given names, many of them shout outs to famous people, such as Bronson, Paul and Linda.
    • Don't forget Nichol and Richie.
  • Non Sequitur Thud: Lil' Miss Marshmallow, after receiving one too many hits (and maybe PK Thunders) to the head:
  • Non Standard Skill Learning: Lucas learns PK Flash by getting struck by lightning.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: One frightening one during the your first time at Tanetane Island:
    There was absolutely nothing inside the mailbox. Nothing after nothing came bursting out.
    • When Lucas is on the Chimera Laboratory and the Ultimate Chimera is on the loose, all that can be heard is its roaring and the screaming of Pigmasks. However, if you enter another room and the BGM starts again, that's... not good, either.
  • Now You Tell Me: The treasure room in Osohe Castle.
  • The Omnipotent: The Dragon.
  • One Time Dungeon: Most dungeons and areas in the game can be revisited in at least one later chapter (although the enemy types and layout will change with the plot). The major exceptions are the Attic Dungeon in Chapter 4, which becomes inaccessible once the chapter ends with its completion, and the Thunder Tower, which is only accessible in Chapter 5 because the story at that point involves infiltrating and destroying it.
  • Only One Name: This is to all characters of the game, except the main villain.
  • One True Sequence: Somewhat subverted: the Pigmask Army retrieve three of the seven MacGuffin's before you do, and there are many you get to before they do.
  • One-Winged Angel: Despite the fact that enemies and bosses can have two different sprites, there are only two actual examples: Lil' Miss Marshmallow and Miracle Fassad. The former simply activates an alternate form at half health which includes pincers and drills. The latter is a little more complicated. After dealing with what seems to be a powered up version of New Fassad, halfway through the fight, he reverts to New Fassad. Backed into a corner, he suddenly stops with physical attacks and reveals that he can also use PSI, at which point he spams it, save for the occasional Luxury Banana.
  • Ontological Mystery: Only after the time skip does Lucas and company get the story going.
  • Open Ended Boss Battle: The Almost Mecha-Lion.
  • Organization with Unlimited Funding: The Pigmask Army did introduce money to Tazmily Village.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: An all powerful "Dragon" living under the Nowhere Islands? It could be literal or even figurative, depending on the player.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: The Magypsies — and how!
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The ghosts in Oshoe Castle.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Deep under Cerulean Beach do you encounter not mermaids, but... mermen? Anyway, these mermen, or Oxygen Machines, supply your party with oxygen, when you kiss him that is. Pucker up!
    • Our Centaurs Are Different: Oddly enough, one Oxygen Machine has the bottom portion of his body as a horse during your exposition in the Empire Porky Building. You can still kiss him for old time sake though.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: See Sheathe Your Sword below. Lucas will not strike down the Masked Man after he learns that it is his own brother, Claus, turned into a chimera and enslaved to Porky's will.
    • There are only two ways to defeat the Pig King Statue: PK Flash (chance of instant death) or the New Year's Eve Bomb, which reduces an enemy's health to one and doesn't work on any other boss.
    • The Barrier Trio's secret weakness. Using Defense Down or the Tickle Stick on them will cause them to repeatedly use Defense Up Omega, only stopping to perform Barrier Poses.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Technically not an orphan, but might as well be. Poor kid...
  • Palette Swap: The Pigmask Captain and Pigmask Major's front sprites are this.
  • Papa Wolf: Deconstructed by Flint.
  • People Jars: The "Good Person Bath."
  • Playable Epilogue: This game has one, but it contrasts starkly with the one from Earthbound...
  • The Player Is The Most Important Resource: If you stick around after the ending credits.
  • Playing The Player: The jarring Exposition Dump provided by Leder. It's a bit complicated, but basically, you're pretty much fighting a lost cause. No, not because the odds are against you, not because you're fighting against a massive army headed by a complete sociopath with powers above and beyond anything you can comprehend, but because humanity itself was doomed long, long before you even started. It turns out the Nowhere Islands, populated by less than one hundred people at this point, is the only habitable place left on Earth. Even if you save everybody, they'll still die out within a few generations. Unless...
  • The Power of Love: PK Love, for starters.
  • Point of No Return: Getting rid of the vines blocking the sixth needle will prevent you from ever going back to the rest of the game, forcing you to move on with the plot and enter New Pork City, which is seperate from the rest of the game.
    • Once you reach the basement of the Empire Porky Building, there's no turning back.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Claus is brave, impulsive, and outspoken. Lucas is shy, gentle, and quiet.
  • Polluted Wasteland: New Pork City is this if you go all the way down the escalators.
  • Portrait Painting Peephole: When entering Osohe Castle for the first time, you'll notice this.
    "You get the odd feeling that the woman in the painting is staring at you."
  • Post Final Boss: The second fight with Claus, the Masked Man.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: There's a film in New Pork City depicting actual scenes from EarthBound at one point, obviously prominently featuring Ness and company.
  • Primal Fear: On Tanetane Island, there are hallucinogenic mushrooms that force you to experience your greatest fears. Though it does exploit each party member's personal phobias and insecurities, it also uses something that everybody's afraid of: Being surrounded by people you love and care about, and having them physically, emotionally, and verbally abuse you.
  • Primary-Color Champion: It is MOTHER, after all. In this case, Lucas dresses in red and yellow stripes with blue denim pants.
    • Also, his friends, Duster and Kumatora, primarily wear blue and red.
  • Psychic Powers
  • Psychopathic Man Child: Porky Minch, of course.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack:
    • Family Matters: 2nd Movement contains bits of:
      • Beethoven's Symphony No. 5.
      • Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1.
    • Etude for Ghosts contains bits of (which sounds a bit like Saint-Saens' Piano Concerto No. 2):
      • Mozart's Symphony No. 40.
      • Beethoven's Symphony No. 6.
    • Ode to Ancestors: 8th Movement is a mashup of:
    • Audacious March and His Highness' Theme have a bit of similar notes to Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No.5.
      • His Highness' Theme has a fairly noticeable tune of Frère Jacques.
    • Leder's Gymnopedie is Satie's Gymnopedie No. 1. Contrast with the second game's notorious use of Sampling.
  • Pun: Oddly enough, not the only one to use it. The Hippo Launchers were created for Porky's birthday. Hippo Birthday to Porky...
  • Punch Clock Villain: The Pigmask Army. They attend rock concerts, stay at diners, and generally do trivial things when they're off-duty. Many of them are friendly to Lucas and his party, and some are even neighbors of Lucas who have been recruited.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: The problem during the fight with Porky and his Absolutely Safety Capsule.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: One odd example when Claus visits his father, Flint, in prison.
    Claus: "Dad. It's me. Claus."
  • Punny Name: There are lots and lots of these in the English fan-translation.
  • Putting on the Reich: The Pigmask's uniforms are reminiscent of German uniforms during WWII. Even their salutes are vaguely Nazi-ish.
  • Puzzle Boss: The Post Final Boss cannot be attacked. You have to constantly heal and defend until the battle wins itself. After Hinawa talks to you a few times, you can attack him. But it won't make any difference because he will not die.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The world ends. But everyone seems to be alive...maybe.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: You bet your bottom dollar that Lucas, Kumatora, Duster, and Boney are surely a group of unlikely heroes.
  • Raising the Steaks: Features Zombie Dogs, and Zombidillos.
  • Random Drops: Mystical Stick and Mystical Gloves, the latter of which being a solid contender for Kumatora's best weapon, are dropped at a 3% rate by the Heftyhead and Monkalrus, respectively. Most of the ultimate armors are also 3% drops from various mobs in the final dungeon.
  • The Rashomon: Chapters 2 and 3 occur simultaneously.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: At one point, you find a frog in a desert, which seems kind of odd. A nearby sign invokes this trope though, by telling the player that there are frogs that do live in the desert. Later, there is a similar situation with an underground dungeon built by moles (actually mole crickets, but the trope still applies).
  • Reality Warper: Lucas or the Masked Man/Claus have the power to recreate the world to their heart's desire.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Claus and Lucas.
  • Regional Bonus: The fan translation has a few features added to the game, such as a Hard Mode after beating the game. Also, Hold L and R while going to the Status Screen to get a Dummied Out "Memo" menu, which builds as you go through the game. Keep in mind some of the features listed didn't make it into the final.
  • Reluctant Mad Scientist: Dr. Andonuts. Still, he somewhat enjoys doing what he does For Science!.
  • Replacement Goldfish: In the WMG vein, there's Lil' Miss Marshmallow for Electra, Pokey's human maid in EarthBound, as revealed by the enemy notes.
    • The robotic waitresses in New Pork City's burger joint look rather like Lardna Minch, Porky's mother.
  • Retraux: The battle with the Mecha-Porkies, whose theme "Porky's Porkies" has the NES chiptune-sounding music up until the last three remaining Mecha-Porkies, in which the D.C.M.C. suddenly arrive to save the day.
  • Rhythm Game: The combo system, which allows you to hit buttons in time with the beat of the fight music to score extra damage. The music starts out with an easy regular rhythms, but they start getting really weird with the tempo later on.
  • A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma
    Wess: The Hummingbird Egg is a ball of secrets inside secrets that are inside even more secrets... Or something like that, supposedly, apparently.
  • Road Block: Played with in this game, where Road Blocks appear as as immobile enemies who, in true MOTHER fashion, possess red eyes, hands, telekinetic powers, and the ability to call clunky robots into the fight. Averted, however, in that they don't actually block anything, since you can just run over them while in a vehicle, and at later levels, by charging into them.
  • Robot Maid: Lil' Miss Marshmallow.
  • Rock Monster: The Crag Lizard and Minerali enemies.
  • Rock-Paper-Scissors: "Stone-Sheet-Clippers".
  • Rousseau Was Right: Like the rest of the series, though this game takes it a step further than the rest by showing just how bad we can be if we get pushed far enough in the wrong direction. See Humans Are Bastards.
  • Royal Fan Room: Enjoy those mental images...
  • Rushmore Refacement: Doesn't that King Statue look slightly familiar to something?
  • Sad Battle Music: In the second battle against Claus/the Masked Man.
  • Save Point: In the form of various frogs, who also inexplicably take the place of the ATM machines from EarthBound once money comes into play.
  • Saving the World
  • Science Is Bad: The Chimeras, and the armies of robots and cyborgs. Also one potential interpretation of the game.
  • Sealed Evil / Good in a Can: The Dark Dragon, though which he is depends on who pulls the Seven Needles.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: The message thrown to you when playing the mini-games in the Empire Porky Building.
  • Sentient Cosmic Force: The Dragon.
  • Serial Escalation
  • Sequel Gap: It came out a good twelve years after EarthBound's Japanese release.
  • Sequence Breaking: Subverted; You can go after the Needles after Aeolia's has been pulled and before Ionia's has been pulled in any order, which may make things a hell of a lot easier since you will have a full party by the time you get the needles other than the Chimera Lab, you need to clear that to get Kumatora back on your team though. Only real problem is trekking back to Saturn Valley because the Coffee Table that you use to ride will be gone when you go there the first time if you plan on getting Duster right after Aeolia's needle.
    • Although it should be noted that trying to go through the Mole Cricket's tunnels before pulling Doria's Needle will render you unable to complete the Battle Memory, as The Squeekz will not spawn, and, thus, you won't get to fight him.
  • Sequential Art
    • Confused Question Mark
    • Visible Silence: The Masked Man speaks in ellipses, except in two cases — at the sixth Needle, most likely giving commands to his army, as what he said wasn't even written onscreen, and during the final battle, after regaining his memory of being Claus, Lucas's brother, and then suffering mortal damage due to consciously reflecting a highly-powerful lightning bolt he fired off of Lucas's Franklin Badge, apologizing to his family before dying.
    • Lucas can also count as one once you are in control of Duster in Chapter 8.
    • Written Sound Effect
  • Shall I Repeat That?: When Leder gives the surprisingly long explanation of the history of Nowhere Islands; he'll confirm that you understand each part before continuing to the next.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: The Post Final Boss, continuing the tradition used by Giegue/Giygas.
  • Shout-Out: The Unwelcome Gust enemy is clearly based off the Cyclown enemy from Dragon Quest, which the first two games are an Affectionate Parody of.
  • Shrinking Violet: Lucas is a very shy kid, but he eventually has to step up.
  • Sigil Spam: Anything that the Pigmasks own have their insignia planted on it.
  • Signs of the End Times: Arguably whenever a Needle is pulled.
  • The Silent Bob: Leder for most of the game. When he does speak, though, good God...
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Chapters 2 and 3 take place at the exact same time, only you're controlling different characters. Duster in the second, and Salsa in the third. It becomes most evident when the two characters bump into each at the same area in both chapters.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The possible aspects to the plot can vary in both directions.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness
  • Sliding Scale Of Videogame Objectives: Task-Based, for Chapter 7. You can search for the Needles except the ones at the start and the end in any order. This allows you to find Duster and Kumatora first, making it much easier to get the rest of the Needles in the chapter.
  • Smelly Feet: A Running Gag with Duster..
  • The Smurfette Principle: Though a bit more diverse than the other two games; Lucas is a preteen boy, Duster is a young man, and Kumatora is a teenage girl, so it's all good.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Two characters can plague you with this:
    • Flint is only playable during Chapter 1, so be sure to give Duster all of Flint's stuff before the chapter ends.
    • Salsa will also take off with your crap forever after Chapter 3 and Chapter 7, so give all of his stuff to Kumatora or Lucas/Boney before he goes. In fact, when Salsa comes back in Chapter 7, he still has all the stuff he had during Chapter 3, which gives you a second chance to have Lucas or Boney take it.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: Which Lucas could really use: his mother was killed while protecting him, his only twin was missing after he left to avenge his mother and his father (a deconstructed Papa Wolf because of these events) went off searching for said missing son, leaving Lucas with only his dog for at least three years Justified since the story takes place in a olden rural location so it's not likely available but even more so when the player discovers his hometown is a Crapsaccharine World so the people would not think it's necessary in the first place.
  • The Sociopath: Porky.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: One Pigmask, when talked to, enters a polite and proper soliloquy about how he isn't quite sure what to say to you before eventually deciding that the phrase he would use, were he allowed to say it and still come across as polite, is "get out of the damn way".
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Both battle and overworld themes can go from rousing, to light and delicate, to sad, to rousing again and there are tons of in game remixes and rearrangements.
  • Spell Levels: As with previous games in the series, the tiers for PSI powers are given by the Greek letters Alpha, α, Beta, β, Gamma, γ, and Omega, Ω.
  • Spell My Name with an S: The fan translation follows the lead of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and uses the proper translation of Porky's name, instead of using the erroneous "Pokey" spelling used in EarthBound's official translation.
    • Also, the debacle about the number of possible translations of Tazmily Village's name, including Tazumili and Tatsumairi. Tazumili was used in the NTSC version of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Tatsumairi was the most common interpretation before then. The fan translation went with Tazmily, which comes from both the PAL version of Brawl and a wide variety of English sources from 1997-2000 about EarthBound 64.
  • Spoiler Title: "Night of the Funeral".
  • Spoonerism: One can be easily detected in the early stages of the game:
    "The Funshine Sorest is on fire!"
  • Stat Meters:
  • Stepford Suburbia: Tazmily Village, though it doesn't seem that way at first.
  • Stepping-Stone Sword: Wall Staples.
  • Stone Wall: Deconstructed with the "Absolutely Safe Capsule"; nothing can hurt the person inside, yet the one inside can't hurt anything outside. Porky encasing himself in it results in the battle ending prematurely, as he's unable to hold back the heroes any longer while trapped in the Capsule.
  • Storyboarding the Apocalypse
  • Super Fun Happy Thing of Doom: The "Tower of Peace and Love". To a lesser extent, the Happy Box, that beloved opiate of the masses.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The Ultimate Chimera.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: ... But it gets better. Maybe.
  • Surprise Creepy: The simple graphics belie quite the at-times terrifying tale. The game's at least nice enough to put the first swerve at the end of the prologue, at least.
  • Suspicious Video Game Generosity: Played with. Late in the game, the player has to get to the 100th floor of a building, and you find an Instant Revitalizing Machine and a Save Frog in the same room... but it turns out, this isn't the real 100th floor, and with each new 100th floor, there are the same two objects, again and again, until the true 100th floor is reached.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Uttered by Lucas after Hinawa's funeral.
    Lucas: "N-n-n-no! He didn't take Dad's homemade knife and go into the mountains to kill the Drago"!
    • The narration at the end of Chapter 1 questions the whereabouts of Claus... when he's actually lying face down on the ground, having fallen from the Plateau after trying to engage the Drago. From the looks of it, he could either be unconscious but badly injured, or he could flat out dead. Considering how he's only 9 years old, its most likely that he's dead. Except for the fact that he was turned into Porky's slave before he died.
    • Right, and Wess' door opening dance in Osohe Castle didn't involve him sticking his butt out or anything.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: At the end, when the players defeat Porky, Dr. Andonuts decides that maybe he deserves some pity, stating that perhaps deep down he was the same lonely boy that no one liked.
    • Then he forgets all about that and nonchalantly begins rolling Porky's new prison around.
      • Porky doesn't care, he's happier this way anyway.
      • That's because he doesn't know. Or even if he does, he won't be happy after a few millenia.

  • Tailor-Made Prison: The Absolutely Safe Capsule made by Dr. Andonuts for Porky.
  • Take Your Time
  • Talking Animals: You come across a bunch of talking critters throughout the whole game. One you come across often is the Save Frog.
  • Talk to Everyone: Featured in all MOTHER games, but this particular one pokes fun at this when you talk to a certain NPC.
  • Taxidermy Terror: The Chimera Laboratory.
  • Temple of Doom: Not necessarily a dungeon that's ought to kill you, but Chupichupoyoi Temple is a location for one of the Needles.
  • Thanking the Player: You are mentioned, by name, at the end of the credits. Not only that, but at The End of the game, everyone in the game thanks you, personally, for all that you did for them, assures you that their world is going to be okay, and hopes that your world is as good to you as you've been to them.
  • That Man Is Dead: The Rope Snake has this to say after failing the party a second time:
    Rope Snake: ...The heroic and cool Rope Snake you once knew is dead. In a tiny, quiet voice, I say... So long.
    • In fact, it affects him so much that in the epilogue, he changes his name to Snake Rope to try and forget his old name's association to his failure.
  • The Team:
  • The Hero: Lucas
  • The Lancer / The Smart Guy: Kumatora
  • The Big Guy: Duster
  • Team Pet: Boney
  • ¡¡Three Amigos!! : Lucas, Duster and Kumatora.
  • Time Abyss: Porky is this, due to his abuse of time travel. He honestly doesn't know how old he is himself, although he suggests he may be 1,000 or 10,000. He's also immortal, and then there's the matter of the Absolutely Safe Capsule, meaning he'll remain this for eternity.
  • Theme And Variations Soundtrack: A lot of the music in the game is composed of rearrangements of other tracks, most commonly the Love Theme, and the Pigmask Army Theme.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The band D.C.M.C. plays "King P's Theme", and the song "The D.C.M.C. Theme" is Duster's theme song.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: This game is the only one in the series that doesn't avert this trope. It is Justified, however, as only a certain amount of people were able to escape the dying world, and at the rate things were going, the people of Tazmily Village would probably die out in several centuries. Porky Minch defies this trope by filling Nowhere Islands with people from different times.
  • Three-Quarters View
  • Threshold Guardians: The Magypsies.
  • Time Skip: Three years between Chapters 3 and 4.
  • To Create A Playground For Evil: The Big Bad's goal.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth/Too Happy to Live: What happens to Lucas' family after Chapter 1.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Tazmily Village, unlike most examples of this trope, no one outside of Leder and later Lucas and company know about the secret.
  • Toy Time: Although it only features one enemy and a mini-boss, King P's Playroom is considered one.
  • Trap Door: After Porky finishes his monologue, your party is dropped from the 100th floor all the way to the The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
    • Hellevator: Not necessarily going to hell per say, but deep beneath the Earth.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Let us get a recap Lucas's life so far, shall we? First, his mother gets violently killed right in front of his eyes. As a result, his father almost goes mad from the resulting grief, attacking people from the villiage and getting chucked into prison before he can even attend her funeral. Shortly afterwards, his older brother, Claus. goes out to try and avenge his mother's death, and goes missing in the process. All in the span of two days. Please note that this is the first time anybody in the society he lives in has experienced grief, so nobody knows how to console or comfort him. Not done yet, though. That very same day, suspicious guy comes into Tazmily village, telling everybody a load of waffle about "happiness" and starts peddling objects called "Happy Boxes" to everyone. These boxes essentially hypnotize the entire village, except for Lucas, who refuses to buy one, and as a result, everybody in this previously close-knit and loving community slowly begin turning into selfish, hedonistic jerks. Years later, Lucas is now considered an outcast, even a disgrace, to the village. His father, still grieving over his wife, barely talks with him anymore and spends nearly all of his time searching for Claus, who is still missing. Around this time, his adventure starts. And while he does finally make two very good friends as a result, his situation hardly improves. On top of having to constantly battle against horrifying, bloodthirsty creatures known as Chimeras, he now has an entire army set against him, the same army who was indirectly responsible for his mother's death in the first place. After disabling the army's thunder tower, he finds himself in a field of sunflowers where, out of nowhere, he sees his mother's ghost. He can't touch or communicate her, and ends up chasing her off a cliff in desperation. It's not very clear if this is a dream or actually happening. But wait, there's more. Around this time, he and his friends find out about these weird objects known as the seven needles, which will restore the entire world either full of evil or full of good depending on who pulls them. The journey to getting the seven needles leads him through countless traumatic situations, from being nearly eaten alive by a horrifying monster called the Ultimate Chimera, to accidentally sending himself on a very, very bad hallucinogenic drug trip, but he ultimately only manages to pull half of them. The other half are getting pulled by the commander of the army, known as the Masked Man. Once he and the Masked Man have both pulled three, Tazmily is now completely abandoned, so he has no choice but to finally go to the hub of all the corruption in his world, New Pork City. Once there, he has to live with the long-hidden truth about Tazmily: It was all a lie. The game actually takes place After the End, and Tazmily was set up so the last few dozen people left on Earth could live in ignorance to the world's destruction. After this, the final needle is located, and he and his friends go to pull it, as it is now the world's only hope for redemption. After defeating the Big Bad, he and the Masked Man meet in front of the final needle, ready to battle for it. As it turns out, the Masked Man is actually Claus, brainwashed and with no memory of being Lucas's brother. What follows is an absolutely heartbreaking "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight, during which Claus easily has the upper hand, and with Claus still showing no sign of remembering, his mother's ghost shows up for a second time. With her help, Claus very slowly realizes who he is and takes his mask off. He then kills himself, allowing Lucas to take the needle, and dies in Lucas's arms. Keep in mind that all of this is happening to a boy who hasn't even hit puberty yet.
  • Troubled Child: Lucas. He gets stronger, though.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Porky may be physically thousands of years old, but he still has the mind of a pre-teen child. It's pretty disturbing when you think about it...
    • After Hinawa dies, Claus runs away to the mountains to try and avenge her. Note that the thing that killed her is a half-robot tyrannosaurus rex, and he's a nine-year old boy armed with a steak knife.
  • Turns Red: Near the end of the second fight with Fassad, his extra musical horns are destroyed, which angers him and causes him to start throwing out Omega-level PSI attacks.
  • Twin Desynch: Porky tries this with Claus, but apparently fails, as him and Lucas are still indistinguishable to the Pigmasks.
  • Two-Part Trilogy: In terms of continuity and the battle system, EarthBound and MOTHER 3 are one of these. This game has more Continuity Nods to EarthBound than EarthBound Zero had in the latter two games. However, the first game and the second are also a Two-Part Trilogy, in terms of the setting and being an Affectionate Parody of Dragon Quest.
  • Uncanny Village: Not apparent at first, but you can find it more after Chapter 3 and so on.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: When going up the Empire Porky Building.
  • Uncommon Time: Due to the Rhythm Game elements, the game likes to throw in songs that are not in 4/4 or 3/4 to throw you off. The most notorious examples of this would be "Strong One" and its Masked Man counterpart, which play in 15/8 and 29/16, respectively.
  • Unique Enemy: There are usually at least two examples of enemies with single spawn points in each chapter, and a few normal enemies like the Fish Roe Man and Negative Man show up in exactly one spot.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: The animals that are turned into chimeras.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Empire Porky Building, a 100-story-tall tower with SPIKES coming out of its sides. Not to mention a couple of mean-looking fire-breathing dragon statues at the entrance.
  • Vichy Earth: The Pigmasks may not seem alien to us, but maybe to the residents of Tazmily Village. But, they have the same intentions as nasty alien invaders do.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Think Giygas, only more human.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React
  • Villain Ball/Bond Villain Stupidity: Porky has a few moments, though it's pretty justified since he has the mental age of a child, and because he sees it all as just a big game. He does, at the end, just try to kill you.
  • Villains Blend In Better: Well, it makes sense if you consider that the Pigmask Army remodeled the Nowhere Islands in their own image. What's makes this trope even more so is that the villains appeared well after the Tazmily civilians took residence in the Nowhere Islands, as seen in the prologue.
  • Villain Has a Point: Don't deny it, Porky's Reason You Suck Speech about humanity's flaws struck you somewhere.
  • Villain Opening Scene
  • Villains Out Shopping: The Pigmask Army.
    • Porky himself, clearly, has a lot of childish hobbies. Justified, since he's mentally in his early teens, and it still doesn't diminish his villainy.
  • Villain World
  • Visual Pun: Kumatora's name translates to "Bear-Tiger". When you first meet her proper, she's gotten her leg caught in a bear trap.
  • Weaker Twin Saves the Day: Important. Very, very important...
  • Welcome to Corneria: This being a MOTHER game, thoroughly averted.
  • Western Zodiac: Zodiac-themed rings are useful defensive accessories.
  • Wham Episode: Hinawa's death. Claus' apparent death. The time skip, and the rise of the Pigmasks. The Seven Needles and the Dark Dragon. The Big Bad and Final Boss is Porky Minch. Coming back to Tazmily Village to find it almost completely deserted. The Dragon is Claus. This game has a lot of them.
  • Wham Line: One that would set the whole mood of the plot.
    "It was pierced through your wife's heart...".
    • And if you're really bad at reading foreshadowing:
    "The masked man...he's Claus."
  • Whatever: This is an actual enemy in the game, and a normal reaction when you see things like this.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Egg of Light, which you spend several chapters chasing and is set up as an incredibly powerful artifact that could stop the Pigmasks. You get it back...and it's never mentioned again. The only time it's mentioned is when Leder explains what it is, but even then you never end up doing anything with it.
  • Wheel o' Feet: Thomas' running animation invokes this.
    • The Love Walker enemy which can be found in the Empire Porky Building is a somewhat literal example.
  • When Trees Attack: The Tree and Tender Loving Tree. True to the grandest of EarthBound traditions, they catch fire and explode when defeated.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: A particularly humorous exchange in Chapter 4.
  • Wine Is Classy: One ghost in Osohe Castle.
  • Wolfpack Boss: The Mecha-Porkies. Even in a group of eleven, they'd be perfectly manageable if they didn't explode.
  • A World Half Full: It is implied this after the fake END? screen.
  • World Limited to the Plot
  • World of Symbolism: Itoi did say for the players to interpret the story...
  • You Are Too Late: This happens to three out of the seven Needles that are pulled by the Pigmask Army.
  • You Bastard: If you attack Claus during the final battle enough, Hinawa will tell Lucas to stop, and then a message will appear saying "sobbing sounds can be heard".
    • Killing Negative Man may also qualify. It is one of the least dangerous enemies in the game, actively avoids attacking you, and does not have to be beaten in order to progress. Beating him will only give you 3 experience points... you bastard.
      • Well, he does beg for you to "just end it all" in battle. Which is actually pretty depressing. But, eh, quirky enemy with humor through Schadenfreude.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: The Pigmask Army manages to claim three of the seven Needles — although on one of them, the party had firm grasp of the Idiot Ball. (Tanetane Island is one prime example. Dammit, Lucas, the needle was right next to you, and the bad guys took almost five minutes to arrive, fanfare, red carpet and all)!
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: One interpretation as to why Claus committed suicide.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: Duster apparently suffers from halitosis.

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alternative title(s): Earth Bound64; Mother 3
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